Wearable tech for wellbeing

As Kiwi Snowboard Slopestyle and Big Air star Zoi Sadowski-Synnott has been pushing her body hard to prepare for the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, a smart piece of wearable technology has been helping take care of her wellbeing.

HPSNZ Performance and Technique Analyst Cameron Ross works closely with Zoi and her coach Sean Thompson, capturing and analysing data from the device on a daily basis. 

“It’s a small sensor, or tracker, that can be clipped to a park and pipe athlete’s belt. It captures data to monitor the stress on the athlete which we then use to keep them fit and healthy,” Cameron says. 

In fact, Cameron is the brains behind the gadget, which was developed over a four year period as part of his PhD. Following that, HPSNZ developed bespoke software to extract the key metrics, allowing the tracker to monitor athletes during competition and training. 

Information available via the tracker includes data on impact of landings, as well as the numbers of jumps, rails, tricks and types of rotations completed. 

“The tracker’s versatility means we can monitor Zoi’s on-snow training load, such as number of jumps in a day, combining this information with the training she does in the gym or on the trampoline to give us an overall picture of Zoi’s training stressors.” 

“The data gives us a really clear picture of what is going on with her training and any impacts or potential impacts on her wellbeing.” 

Sean and Cameron on a ski slope holding wearable tech

Cameron explains that coach Sean Thompson can then make the necessary adjustments to safeguard Zoi’s wellbeing, ensuring she is ready to perform at her best come competition time. 

“This tracker and the software we use were specifically designed for Slopestyle and Big Air,” Cameron says. “So Zoi can have confidence in the data supporting her preparation for Beijing.” 

While the tracker has its origins in Snow Sports, it has proved so useful that other Olympic sports such as trampolining have begun using a version of it.